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The Canadian Festival of Spoken Word-Oct. 11 -15th

David Silverberg is the host of the monthly Toronto Poetry Slam held at the Drake Hotel. He is also this year's host of the The Canadian Festival of Spoken Word.

donna g: What styles of poetry/spoken word are represented in the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word?

David Silverberg: Every style of spoken word from dub poetry to prose poems to hiphop poetry. It's such a diverse festival and really shows Torontonians the breadth of spoken word in the country.

donna g: The CFSW launched last night at the Drake Hotel Underground. How was the turn out?

David Silverberg: It was a wonderful turnout! Around 180 packed into the Drake Hotel Underground and the audience was loving practically every delicious poem coming from the poets' mouths.

donna g: Last night you also had a Legends Showcase. Who were some of the talents that took to the stage, and how long did each person have to perform?

David Silverberg: Each of the poets had 15 minutes to display their talent. The Legends Showcase included Andrea Thompson, Eddy da original one, Lillian Allen, Sheri-D Wilson and RC Weslowski.

donna g: How many teams participated in the preliminary bouts last night, and where were they from?

David Silverberg: Last night 8 teams bouted, in two bouts altogether. They were:

First Bout-7:00 PM
A)1 Peterborough
B)2 Sherbrooke
C)3 Montrea – Slam Habs
D)4 London

Second Bout-9:00 PM
A)17 Edmonton
B)18 Kingston
C)19 Toronto – Up From The Roots
D)20 Saskatoon

donna g: How many judges are involved in the competition?

David Silverberg: Five judges are selected randomly from the audience.

donna g: How are the participants scored? I know there are rules to be followed, but are the teams rated on a score out of 10?

David Silverberg: Yes, scores are out of 10 and judges are told to rate each poem based on both performance and content.

donna g: When are the next bouts, and how many teams go on to the next round?

David Silverberg: The prelim bouts continue Wednesday and Thursday night. The top 8 teams from those bouts move on to Semi-Finals on Friday night at Royal Cinema.

donna g: When and where is the final slam event?

David Silverberg: The Finals is on Saturday, October, 15 at Metro United Church at 56 Queen St. E. $25 at the door, 8pm.

donna g: Who are some of the talented people taking the stage for Poets of Honor Showcaseon Saturday night?

David Silverberg: There is the awesome Robert Priest, known as Dr Poetry. And d'bi.young, one of the best dub poets in the world, in my opinion. A not-to-be-missed show!

donna g: Besides the slams, I understand that there are opportunities for poets/spoken word artists to develop their craft. What are some of the workshops being offered?

David Silverberg: There are workshops on crafting group pieces, led by Ottawa's The Recipe. A workshop on writing humour poems is led by David Clink and a Performance 101 event will feature Andrea Thompson and RC Weslowski offering advice to poets on how to hone their performance chops.TM

Canadian Festival of Spoken Word
October 11th-15th (Various Locations)

Keep track of team scores and get a schedule of CFSW day and evening events at For inquiries:

Toronto Poetry Slam

Photo of David Silverberg courtesy of Toronto Poetry Slam


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